Bird Droppings: Arizona Cardinals historically hard schedule, running backs to know, Nkemdiche optimism and more

Bird Droppings: Arizona Cardinals historically hard schedule, running backs to know, Nkemdiche optimism and more

Happy Sunday one and all, I hope your weekend was a good one.

The Arizona Cardinals schedule has been announced, while there is much to know about the schedule, there is even more to know about the upcoming draft for the Arizona Cardinals and the first round of mini-camp for the Cardinals.

Let’s get your week started off the right way.

Newfound Responsibility For Deone Bucannon
Cardinals linebacker will call plays on defense as leadership role grows

Draft Synergy For Steve Wilks And Steve Keim
Cardinals decision-makers on same page during first few months together

Cardinals Blogs
Nkemdiche optimism returns

Easy April takeaways and predictions for Cardinals’ 2018 schedule
The 2018 Arizona Cardinals schedule is out and that means it’s time for some takeaways and predictions in April that won’t mean much in September.

Bidwill: Primetime-lacking schedule no problem for underdog Cardinals
Michael Bidwill remains confident Arizona can earn primetime games because the NFL’s flex scheduling allows wiggle-room for the Cardinals to fight for those slots.

Sam Bradford shows knee is healthy, embraces offseason plan – Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN
The new Cardinals quarterback isn’t a fan of limited reps, however, he knows “the end goal is to be healthy for an entire season.”

New Draft Wire mock draft has Cardinals trading up for QB Josh Allen | Cards Wire
They give up a lot to land the quarterback they love.

Cardinals’ 2018 schedule features historically difficult road games for team | Cards Wire
Among their non-division opponents, the Cardinals have only beaten the Chargers on the road in the last 15 years.

DE Moubarak Djeri’s ‘juice’ intrigues Cardinals coach Steve Wilks | Cards Wire
Wilks likes what he sees in Djeri’s athleticism and size.

A center for every round of the draft for the Cardinals | Cards Wire
See who they could get in each round at center.

Dez Bryant signing with Cardinals is very, very unlikely

Dez Bryant signing with Cardinals is very, very unlikely

A new free agent has hit the market as the Dallas Cowboys have released veteran receiver Dez Bryant. Because the Arizona Cardinals appear to need help at receiver, the immediate question that comes to mind is whether the Cardinals will sign him.

It seems very, very unlikely.

According to AZCentrals Sports’ Kent Somers, Bryant has to be willing to play for very little.

He is supposedly seeking at least $6 million per season in a new contract, which prices him right out of the Cardinals’ market.

Bryant’s production is also beginning to decline.

He last had at least 1,000 receiving yards in a season in 2014. He has dealt with injuries in two of the last three seasons. Last season, playing in all 16 games, he caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns.

He will turn 30 this season.

He is a big name and pairing him with Larry Fitzgerald would get some attention, but Bryant is not the same player he was and just simply would cost too much.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on the Rise Up, See Red podcast. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Stitcher Radio.

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions of Arizona Cardinals' selections, team needs

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions of Arizona Cardinals' selections, team needs

The Arizona Cardinals have eight picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, including No. 15 in the first round April 26 in Arlington, Tex.

Here is a look at the Cardinals’ five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2017 season. Below that are the team’s current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2018 picks.

CARDINALS’ FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

TOTAL PICKS 9 7 7 6 7

STARTERS 1 3 3 1 3

BACKUPS 0 1 2 3 3

OTHER TEAMS 5 2 0 2 1

OUT OF LEAGUE 3 1 2 0 0

TOP 3 NEEDS IN 2018 DRAFT

1. Quarterback: Given Sam Bradford‘s injury history and Glennon’s almost immediate failure in Chicago, there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to think the Cardinals are capable of even replicating an 8-8 finish again let alone expect to make the playoffs. As bad as Bradford’s knees are, he might not even make it out of training camp or the preseason. Mike Glennon, meanwhile, can’t seriously be considered any type of a long-term solution. That means Arizona has to turn its attention to the draft and either bite the bullet to move up from the 15th overall pick to get one of the top four quarterback prospects or roll the dice that a franchise-type quarterback will be there at 15. However it happens, the Cardinals know they have to address this position in a serious and swift tone. They need a young quarterback they finally can build around and everyone knows it.

2. Cornerback: As good as the Cardinals’ defense has been over the past four or five seasons, it’s always going to be exploited on one side of the field until the team finds a suitable starter at cornerback to play opposite Patrick Peterson. They have tried every year to find a suitable one on the cheap and have had moments of both success and failure. But they haven’t been able to identify and sign a capable corner for the long haul, which is only hurting Peterson, who is in his prime. Even if they think Bene Benwikere might be the answer, and that’s doubtful, the Cardinals need to address the position in this year’s draft and likely do it with one of their first two picks.

3. Wide receiver: When a 35-year-old is your only real threat, you know you’re behind the 8-ball, even if the soon-to-be, 35-year-old is named Larry Fitzgerald. Though the veteran has had his three most productive NFL seasons in each of the last three years, it’s difficult to call him a No. 1 receiver when he plays mostly out of the slot and is no longer a deep threat. Arizona doesn’t even have a legitimate No. 2 man here. They have a handful of No. 3’s and No. 4’s, maybe, and even that can be put up for debate. In a perfect world, the Cardinals are able to find a target with some size that can also gain separation to split safeties and make game-changing plays. They will either have to be incredibly lucky to find one or end up using one of their top picks to do it, which would take away from their top priorities.

Below is a list of all eight of the Cardinals’ picks, with players suggested by NFLDraftScout.com.

CARDINALS 2018 Draft (Eight picks)

Rd./overall pick: Player selected (*indicates compensatory pick)

1-15: Vita Vea, DT, Washington (6-4, 347, 5.10)

2-47: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State (6-5, 235, 4.90)

3-79: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State (6-1, 205, 4.45)

*3-97: Chukwuma Okorafor, T, Western Michigan (6-6, 320, 5.31)

*4-134: Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon (5-11, 229, 4.54)

5-152: Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama (6-0, 179, 4.47)

6-182: Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh (5-9, 184, 4.39)

*7-254: Josh Kalu, S, Nebraska (6-0, 203, 4.58)

Check out the Cardinals' 2018 preseason slate!

Check out the Cardinals' 2018 preseason slate!

The Arizona Cardinals know at least one part of their schedule for the 2018 season. The preseason schedule was announced and the Cardinals will face a typical slate of teams. As they seem to do every year, they will face the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos.

The preseason highlight will be a Week 3 prime-time game on the road against the Dallas Cowboys. That game will be featured on national television. That traditionally is when starters play the longest, so that should be when fans get the longest look at Sam Bradford before the season begins.

They will also travel to New Orleans to play the Saints, which will be on the second time ever they have played in New Orleans in the preseason.

The Cardinals’ finale against Denver is almost a yearly tradition. This will be the 13th time in the last 15 years the Cardinals have played the Broncos in the preseason finale. That presumably could feature a quarterback the Cardinals draft later this month.

The schedule is as follows:

Game 1: Chargers at Cardinals (August 9-13)

Game 2: Cardinals at Saints (August 16-20)

Game 3: Cardinals at Cowboys (Sunday August 25, 5:00 p.m. MST)

Game 4: Broncos at Cardinals (August 30-31)

Knowing when the Cardinals play their first preseason game, because teams can begin training camp 15 days before then, we can surmise the Cardinals will open camp. They will be able to do so somewhere between July 25 and July 29.

The dates and times of all Arizona’s preseason games, outside of their game against the Cowboys are yet to be determined.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on the Rise Up, See Red podcast. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Stitcher Radio.

A QB for every round of the draft for the Cardinals

A QB for every round of the draft for the Cardinals

Most believe the Arizona Cardinals must draft a quarterback in this year’s NFL draft. Most also believe they will probably not be able to land one of the four top prospects of Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield, as they will likely all be selected within the first 10 picks of the draft.

That said, taking those four out of the equation, here are the quarterbacks who could be in play for Arizona in every single round of the draft.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson, the Heisman Trophy winner two years ago, is an electric player. He threw for more than 3,600 passing yards and rushed for more than 1,600 more. He combined for 44 touchdowns, between passing and running.

He has been mocked to the Cardinals several times recently. He is expected to be drafted in the first round and could be in play for the Cardinals in Round 1.

Bird Droppings: Sam Bradford will be brought along slowly, T.J. Logan ready to roll, Jones and Pugh together again and more

Bird Droppings: Sam Bradford will be brought along slowly, T.J. Logan ready to roll, Jones and Pugh together again and more

Happy Wednesday one and all, hope your week is going well.

The Arizona Cardinals met with the media yesterday and there was lots of good little nuggets to take from it, while also gaining some insight into the offseason.

Let’s get to it.

No Rush For Sam Bradford In First Minicamp
Quarterback “plan” at forefront as Cardinals prepare to take field for first time

Cardinals Blogs
The plan to work outside in camp — maybe

Chandler Jones, Justin Pugh reunited 8 years after first-round pact – Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN
Former Syracuse standouts who vowed to become first-round picks, both fulfilled their end of the deal and are teammates again — this time in the NFL.

Cardinals won’t rush Sam Bradford, Steve Wilks makes 4-3 argument
Steve Wilks discussed how the Arizona Cardinals will be cautious with Sam Bradford and explained how his team will benefit by moving to a 4-3 defense.

McShay’s perfect NFL mock draft provides realistic outlook for Cardinals
ESPN’s Todd McShay put together what he calls the perfect first 100 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft. For the Arizona Cardinals’ first four picks, needs are certainly met.

The 5: Most memorable fights in Valley pro sports history
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo’s incident with the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina was the latest of unique kerfuffles in the Valley pro sports history books.

Todd McShay’s ‘Grade: A’ mock draft gives Cardinals Mason Rudolph in Rd. 3 | Cards Wire
The QB lands to the Cardinals ideally in the third round.

New 2018 Cardinals draft cap features more than just team logo | Cards Wire
Check out the 2018 edition of the official Cardinals draft cap.

David Johnson expects speedy T.J. Logan ‘to be utilized a lot’ | Cards Wire
Logan even impressed Johnson with his speed.

Cardinals seemingly open to every scenario in first round of draft | Cards Wire
There are rumors they might trade up and some talk like the most likely scenario is they trade back. Anything is possible!

Cardinals’ signing of QB Sam Bradford dubbed as one of worst offseason contracts | Cards Wire
ESPN’s Mike Sando says it is the fifth-worst deal of the offseason.